Tag Archives: Birth Parents

I thought I couldn’t either…

If you are a birth mother that’s involved in a post placement, hopefully you are beginning to make peace with your decision. If you’re in involved in an open adoption, you realized the family you chose was a great a fit for your child. For some birth moms they gain more family through the adoptive parents. This can make your decision feel worthwhile as time goes on. Getting updates, letters, and pictures help tremendously on keeping you involved in your child’s life. Let’s not forget about the chat with the adoptive mother about the characteristics you and your child share. I am four years post placement and I must admit I am not the same person I was when I placed. I am different in the best of ways. I have matured and always keep an open mind. I love speaking to my son’s adoptive mother about all the crazy, cute things he does.

Unfortunately, from the outside looking in people don’t see the bright side of your story. Most people still have the negative misconception of adoption. The belief of all birth mothers are on drugs, homeless, or worse is untrue, unfair and yet people still believe it. The belief that you “gave up your child” because you didn’t want to be a parent is another common misconception. It cuts deeper when it comes from close friends & family that share the same misconceptions. What hurts worse is hearing the all-time line “I could never do that”. Once upon a time, we didn’t think that we could “do that” either. Fortunately, us birthparents thought with our heads instead of our hearts, so our child could have more opportunities in life. The further you get through post placement you begin to figure out good ways to dodge certain questions and even better ways to respond to them. I have chosen to discuss the two best ways to respond to people regarding your decision to use adoption.

  • Silence!

There is no better way to combat negativity or ignorance than with good, old silence. Especially with the statement I mentioned before the “I could never do that” line. I have heard this time after time and I always respond with silence. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about anything. Keep in mind, that most people that say this have never been in the circumstances you have experienced. Also, this statement implies they are solely speaking with their hearts rather than their head. Placing your child because you wanted him/her to have a better life, both parents, or a loving & compassionate home is a great thing. It means that you are thinking past your own feelings and emotions for the good of your child. So, if your boyfriend’s sister wants to mention something about your adoption, ignore her to the high heavens. Some people may never truly understand.

 

  • Think about it, smile, & be kind when you speak.

I have had a few instances where some people weren’t being negative at all. They are generally surprised by our courage and call us brave. They are eager to learn more about your situation with adoption rather than shunning you. I have encountered people that wanted to hear about the brighter side of adoption rather than the side they are accustomed to. It’s okay to answer the questions you are comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to set the record straight and dispel the misconceptions. These conversations can be very therapeutic and make you feel empowered. You will be shocked at how some people look at birthparents as heroes. Your child is a blessing that made someone’s family whole.

 

 

Coping with post placement isn’t about struggling with your own emotions regarding your decision. It mainly consists of learning to deal with people who think you should feel a certain way. People have told me that I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m not ashamed. People have told me I will regret my decision in the long run, but I don’t. After all this time, I couldn’t imagine being without the adoptive parents I chose for my son. I wouldn’t change that for the world. Embrace your strength as a birthparent and everything negative will become a breeze in the wind.

Reasons To Choose Or Not To Choose Adoption

Deciding whether to parent or make an adoption plan can be a difficult decision. There are many factors that play into finding the right fit for your situation. Am I financially ready to parent? Will my family & friends support my decision? Better yet, does my partner support the idea of adoption? These are all very important questions to consider. Although it can be overwhelming, take your time to research and weigh all of options. Down below are reasons to choose or not to choose adoption.

 

  • I’m not emotionally ready.

Like all new experiences adoption may seem scary at first. This is a normal feeling to have and you will overcome with time. The best thing to do at this point is get all the research you can. The internet is a great source of information. Read adoption blogs by expectant/birth parents. Research the advantages of open adoption. You will discover that open adoption can be a happy journey. Most adoptive parents respect their birth mothers enough to view them as additional family members. Both adoptive & birth parents join together in the best interest of the child.

  • The belief of taking responsibility for your own actions.

Fact of the matter is making an adoption plan takes great responsibility. By setting aside your own needs and wants to consider what is best for your child is taking full responsibility. You may have already considered your financial status, your educational future (if deciding to further your education), and support from your partner or family. These things factor into whether you should choose an adoption plan. The next big step is choosing a family that will give your child a loving, safe, & secure environment. Not to mention choosing a family that aligns with what you would like to provide your child. Completing these tasks mean that you love your child and that you are taking responsibility for their care & happiness.

  • My partner doesn’t like the idea of making an adoption plan.

Your partner may not feel comfortable making an adoption plan. If at any point he doesn’t feel ready to parent or able to financially/emotionally support the child, adoption may be an option. Discuss the concerns that may arise. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an adoption agency to go over your options, rights, and questions.

  • I was raised that if I get pregnant I keep the baby.

Family values can either persuade or dissuade your decision on adoption. It is important to remember that this is your choice to make. What works for one person may not work for others. Everyone’s situation is unique in its own way.

 

  • Wanting someone to love you.

There is nothing that can compare to a child’s love. However, having a child that will love you isn’t always in the best interest of the child. You have to prioritize the child’s needs over your own. Placing them with a secure and stable family is the most important aspect.

 

Consider these aspects when deciding if adoption is right for you or not. Make sure to do your research on adoption and other options that may be available to you. Talk them over with your partner and/or someone that you trust. If you choose open adoption, be aware that you are not leaving your child, but expanding your family. Find an adoption agency that best fits you and talk to a social worker about any concerns.

 

 

The Birth Parent Perspective in Open Adoptions: A Focus on Birth Fathers

Birth mother’s are often times front and center when open adoption is being discussed, but it is important that birth father’s are not left out of the conversation.

AFTH Birthfathers
A Deeper Look at the Emotional Impact for Birth Fathers

Mary Martin Mason, the author of Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers’ Stories, conducted in depth interviews of several birth father’s.

Mason defines birth fathers as “men who have fathered a child whom they are not parenting.” Her in-depth interviews of birth fathers include those of various ages, races and backgrounds. While most have no contact with their children, a few are participating in open adoptions. Three of the men married their child’s birth mothers after relinquishment, but the majority of those interviewed have lost contact with the birth mother and child.

The Post-Placement Experience

Mason explains that because the birth father experience is an unknown to most people, few support systems exist.

• Despite the existence of millions of birth fathers as a subculture, these men continue to stay “under wraps.” One of the reasons that many of them keep their experience a secret is that to speak about it publicly can result in baffled silence or worse, criticism. Even well-meaning friends and co-workers are perplexed as to how to respond to a birth father.
• One birthfather explained that “nobody knew how to approach me. They all knew we were pregnant. They all knew we were giving the baby up for adoption, so nobody came down and understood how to say….” — Randy chokes on the words he needed to hear — “Congratulations, and I’m sorry.”

The grief and sadness felt by birth fathers after relinquishment and placement can fall along a spectrum and varies depending on the individual. Professionals suggest that healing can really begin once the individual has had the opportunity to address and process their pain. Finding positive outlets for your energy is another way birth father’s can move forward. Take an active role in the adoption community and share your story with others!

“Being a birth father has come to be a thing of pride,” one birthfather said to Mason. “As we come out of the shadow, we can say we are men who have gotten into difficult situations and considered the best option for our child. We should take pride in that.”

Birthfather Pride

Becoming a Birth Father

Darrcik Rizzo is a birth father who became an advocate for adoption and how beautiful it can be, but it didn’t always start off that way. In an excerpt from one of his blog posts, he outlines his initial struggle with comprehending exactly what adoption would mean for his son.

After immense persuasion from my girlfriend, I reluctantly found myself browsing for information about open adoption. The more I read about it, the more I found myself questioning my initial reaction and trying to figure out fatherhood through open adoption. When I realized that open adoption allowed me to be a part of my baby’s life from the very beginning, I felt that open adoption might be the right way to go for my child and also myself as a father. So I gave in, and agreed to the concept of open adoption. Through this experience I found myself wholly involved in each and every step of the adoption process.

Through the process we learned about couples interested in adopting as well as the two kinds of open adoption. One kind of open adoption was totally open while the other was semi-open—where letters and pictures would be facilitated between the birth parents, adoption agency and the adoptive parents. At first I was quite apprehensive of the couples who were interested. I had no clue of how I would be able to know that they would care for my child like their own. And unlike other adoption processes, I was without any professional that provided counseling through the entire adoption procedure. Through the process, my girlfriend and I got to sit with five potential adoptive parents, interview them, and then decide on who would be perfect for our child. Out of the five couples, we found the perfect parents, who were in a biracial relationship just like my girlfriend and I.

The decision-making process was complicated, emotional, and overshadowed other activities in my life. The pregnancy and adoption were happening while I was in school and I could hardly concentrate because this was about more than just books and making it big in life. This was my child we were talking about. I wasn’t willing to “give up” my child; I felt responsible for his well-being. Thank God for open adoption. Through it I knew that my child would know his birth father from the start and I would not have to miss out on the important days of my child’s life.

Birth Father Rights in the Adoption Process

Birth fathers have legal rights during the adoption process and it is important to address that in this post. Most agencies and attorneys have specific procedures to make sure that birth fathers are indentified, located and that they are made aware of the adoption plan. In those situations, birth fathers are also informed about their rights. The birth father’s involvement and participation in the adoption plan is often times welcomed because when there is agreement, and legal papers consenting to the adoption are signed, his rights are being acknowledged. However, many adoptions proceed even if the birthfather is not located and has not signed consent forms and these situations carry a degree of risk. If you are a birth father and want a better understanding of your rights or if you are an adoptive family and want to gain a better understanding of adoption law, explore these links further:
http://afth.org/pregnant/info-for-fathers/
http://www.americanadoptions.com/adoption/birth_father_rights
http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/adoption-and-fathers-rights.html

Conclusion

Open adoption is a lifelong journey for all members of the adoption family, including birth fathers. Their stories should be told and their rights protected. If you have any helpful resources for birth fathers please share them with us, we are always looking for new ways to help all members of the adoption community because we must not forget, adoption is love!

Another Perspective of Open Adoption: How Birth Grandparents Stay Involved and Build a Relationship

The popular news column, “Dear Abby,” featured a post by a caring grandmother that read:

Dear Abby: My teenage daughter will be giving birth soon, and she has decided to place her baby for adoption. I have told her that whatever she decides, I will support her decision. Here is the difficult part: This will still be my biological grandchild. When this beautiful child is lovingly handed over to the adoptive parents, I will be losing a grandchild. I am already in mourning. Are there other grandparents out there who are going — or have gone — through this and how are they coping? I already see a therapist, but I would still like to know how others are coping. — Un-grandparent in Ohio

Dear Un-grandparent: I wish you had told me more about the kind of adoption your daughter has chosen for her baby. If it is an open adoption in which she will be kept informed about the child’s milestones and progress, ask the adoptive couple if they would welcome you as an “extra” grandparent for the child. If I hear from others who have gone through this process, I will let you know, because I’m sure they will write to help you through your heartache.

This exchange inspired the following blog post about open adoption, adoptive families and birth grandparent’s involvement in life post placement.

Birth Grandparents and Open Adoption

The Early Stages of the Adoption Plan

Answers to Some of the Tough Questions

Learning of your child’s choice to make an adoption plan might leave you wanting to ask a lot of questions, here are some common questions and answers that other people in a similar position had about what adoption meant for them as grandparents.

Will I still be a grandparent if my child creates an adoption plan?

• What does being a grandparent mean to you?
• Does this vision fit with your child and the adoptive family’s vision?
• How do you see yourself being involved in an ongoing relationship with your birth grandchild?

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Your grandchild will always be a part of your life regardless of whether your child chooses to parent or place the child with an adoptive family and open adoption gives you the option to send updates and be updated on their life.

Can my child handle the emotional strain of making an adoption plan?

• How has your child coped with grief and loss in the past?
• How have you managed loss in your own life?
• Are you in some ways blaming yourself for your child’s current circumstances?
• What family rituals are in place to commemorate losses?

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The life experiences of your child may be very different from your own. It is important to step back and realize that this will be one of the biggest and most difficult first decisions as a parent that your child will make. They need to decide what the best thing will be for their child.

How can I best demonstrate my love and understanding for my child?

• How can you support your child no matter their decision?
• What can you do to prepare yourself for this life change?
• What role does your child want you to play while they are contemplating their decision?
• What expectations does your child have of you should they choose to parent or plan an adoption?

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Give yourself permission to grieve the upcoming changes in the life of your child, no matter their choice. Ask for help if you need it and if you don’t know what to say sometimes just being there shows you care. Birth grandparents usually have some kind of influence the birth parents’ decision to parent, abort or place the child for adoption. It is important to not to have your wishes pressure or sway your child during the decision making process. They might be make a different choice than you believe to be right, but in the end it is their decision and having you, the grandparent, as a support system for them is what they need most.

How can I stay involved with my birth grandchild and their adoptive parents after placement?

“We have experienced parenting, so we know what we’ll miss, whereas a young birth mom doesn’t always realize this,” said Janice Widner, whose daughter placed a child for adoption years ago, in a Chicago Tribune article. “So for birth grandparents, adoption can be harder emotionally.” It is not uncommon for birth grandparents to feel less important in the adoption process because the birthparent’s have the final say when it comes to open adoption. Keep in mind that this is your grandchild and that is different than being a parent again, help and support your child make the best decision for their life.

Birth Grandmother with grandchildren
If your child is placing through open adoption, it might be a good idea to have a conversation with your child about your desire to be a part of your grandchild’s life after placement. You and your child could approach the adoptive parents and ask them how they feel about grandparent involvement in the child’s life as well and agree upon something that works for everyone involved. One grateful birth grandmother responded to the Dear Abby post explaining that each summer the adoption agency her daughter and son-in-law placed through sponsors a picnic that is attended by birth and adoptive parents as well as grandparents, other family members and of course the adopted child. Adoptions From The Heart hosts a picnic just like this one in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Connecticut.

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Other ideas of ways to stay involved and connected from actual adoptive parents who have maintained relationships with their child’s birth grandparents include:
• Crochet a baby blanket, sew a quilt or if you aren’t crafty head to a nearby store and purchase a baby blanket.
• A photo album, collage, or just pictures of the baby’s birth parents as they were growing up. It will be wonderful for your grandchild to see themselves in their birthparent’s at different ages and adoptive parents like to have photos of other members of their child’s birth family!
• A family tree and compete medical history from your perspective would be an invaluable gift because birth parents don’t always know as many ins and outs as you might.
• Write letters. Some adoptive parents keep scrapbooks or binders with letters, cards and items from birth families for their children
• We keep in touch via email and visits; sometimes we meet halfway in between our homes to go to the zoo or aquarium.

Building a Relationship to Last a Lifetime

Having a relationship with a grandchild is a desire for some birth grandparents and building that relationship through honest communication with birth parents and adoptive parents can help make that possible. Whether it is letting the adoptive family know of your love and support through letters and visits, or establishing a valued friendship by going the extra mile, it might just make all the difference.

Similar Building Beautiful Families Blog Posts:

https://afth.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/bith-grandparents-how-can-i-stay-involved

Outside Resources:

http://withlove-birthgrandma.blogspot.com/
http://oliveyouforever2011.blogspot.com/
http://birth-grandma.blogspot.com/

Adoptive Father Planned to Run 50K for Birthmother Fundraiser and Awareness, Now the Search is On

Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions and a lot of people are planning to get in shape and eat healthy. Adoptions From The Heart, a non-profit, full service adoption agency based in Wynnewood, PA is planning their third annual Find Her Footing 5K for Sunday, April 12th originally with a very special addition.

Adoptions From The Heart Find Her Footing 5K

Adoptive father, Chris Staehle was planning on running a 50K…that’s right…31 miles from the AFTH office in Delaware to the start of the Find Her Footing 5K at Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania. A running accident and a torn ACL will keep him from running his planned course, but he is still dedicated to supporting the mission of AFTH. The inaugural AFTH Find Her Footing 5K in 2013 was Staehle’s first 5K and it inspired him to keep on running. “What better way to complete my first ultra marathon than to do complete it while raising money and awareness for the birthmother fund? If I can help make a difference for someone who is involved in the adoption process, then it will all be worth it,” he explained.

The Inspiration Behind the Man

Chris and his wife began working with Adoptions From The Heart in November of 2012 and adopted their son in December 2013. “My wife and her sisters are adopted, so we strongly believe in and support the work that Adoptions From The Heart does for thousands of families and the community,” Chris said. “In addition to raising awareness and funds for AFTH, I’m hoping to prove that average people working full time and raising a family can truly push their physical and mental limits with this sort of undertaking.”

Chris pointed to a quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson that spoke to him when considering the upcoming 50K, “in whatever you choose to do, do it because it’s hard, not because it’s easy. For every hard thing you accomplish, fewer other people are out there doing the same thing as you. And in the limit of this, everyone beats a path to your door because you’re the only one around who understands the impossible concept or who solves the unsolvable problem.” With this 50K undertaking, Chris would have been doing just that. He hoped that he can turn this accomplishment into an annual event and that more people will dare to tackle the distance alongside him. “If I can do it, anyone can do it,” Chris remarked confidently. Now… we call to you to make the 50K a reality once again, here is how.

How to Keep Up: On Social Media and On Race Day

Chris was planning on updating his social media accounts, @AFTH_50k on Twitter, Instagram, Vine and afth50k.wordpress.com, which you can be sure to follow for up to date information on his recovery and training process. AFTH wants to encourage other runners to consider taking on this long distance and Chris has helped to prepare you for the feat.

Chris’s Top Tips for Running a 5K (or a 50K)

AFTH Chris Staehle's 5K Tips1. Always remember, you get what you pay for. You don’t have to always buy top-of-the line sneakers and gear, but never go with the cheap stuff. Go to a specialty running store, like Bryn Mawr Running Company, to get professionally fitted for sneakers, or give a few different brands a try before you embark on a long-term training plan – some stores will have generous return policies, but always check before you buy.
2. The more miles you run and more time you spend running require more carbs, but try and give yourself at least two hours after a meal before running. Natural fruits and veggies give you much more energy than energy bars or gels, but may not be so convenient to carry during a race (that’s when the gels/bars come in handy).
3. If you need to run with music by all means, rock out as you wish, but keep the following in mind. When running on busy roads or in parks, you need to be aware of your surroundings (for your safety as well as safety of others). Wearing headphones/earbuds also cuts off the sounds of your breathing and your focus on body movements/stride/gait. Pay attention to your body.
4. Avoid stretching without warming up, so do a quick 5 minute walk or slow jog to loosen up first. Always build in 10-15 minutes into your workout time for stretching so you aren’t cramming your stretches in. Focus on your legs and lower back, but give your arms and upper body a chance to loosen up as well.
5. Be realistic! Unless you think you can win the race, don’t kill yourself with training. Shoot for a personal best. Overtraining leads to frustration, frustration leads to more overtraining, overtraining leads to injury, and then you may lose your enjoyment of running. Better to back off the training and live to run another day than get injured trying to run a 14-minute 5k.
6. It takes a long time for your body to adjust to the cold weather. Start with 1-2 runs per week outside, maybe for 20-30 minutes each, and do your remaining runs on a treadmill. Every few weeks, add one more outside run to your schedule. Always try to run outside as a first option! The treadmill is in a controlled environment so your body may not adjust to the elements as fast, but if the weather is nasty outside or if you simply don’t have the time to gear up, sometimes the treadmill may be the only option. It’s better to run on a treadmill than not run at all!

Are You Ready for the Find Her Footing 5K?

With Chris inspiring the community, Adoptions From The Heart hopes that local community will come together to support open adoptions and birthparents who are in need. Join in the conversation online through the agency’s social media or with Chris directly and don’t forget to register for the 3rd Annual Find Her Footing 5K by visiting http://tinyurl.com/FindHerFooting3. As an added bonus, if you use the code RUN4AFTH by the end of February you will save $5 off the registration cost! Happy Training!

December Book Reviews 2014

Eight-Books-To-Read-In-2014

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.


 9780061950728_custom-6b77c08d0246137620e8b4ff1d6391b19faca099-s99-c85Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline – Flipping back and forth between the past and the present, Orphan Train tells the story of two women who have very similar stories to tell.  Vivian lost her family when she was nine and wound up on an “orphan train” to the midwest from New York, where she was given to one family or another in the hope of someone adopting her.  Molly’s father was killed and her mother, hooked on drugs, couldn’t care for her so she moved from foster home to foster home.

Its also a story of the child welfare system, how children were often traded for service and room and board, names changed to suit their new wards, babies were adopted first and older children were left unwanted, now isn’t all that different. While there are more checks and balances children are sometimes taken in by foster families, “for the money” received to care for them, and treated as little more than servants, shuffled around from place to place. While the foster care system doesn’t fail every child it still needs a lot of work. Stories like Molly’s are unfortunately too common.

This was a gripping book that shows that you can’t judge a person on looks, that there is always a story to be learned from people and that the young can really benefit from working with and learning from older people. The relationship between Vivian and Molly is so beautiful and the loneliness they felt before they met oozed off the page, the discovery of their shared experiences forms a bond that helps to heal both of them.  amazon.com price $8.99 kindle price $6.99

The-Day-the-Storm-Came_smThe Day The Storm Came: A Therapeutic Story for children who have experienced loss. by Helen Lees – This book is great for children who have experienced any type of loss or even a change in circumstance. Through a simple story and cute photos it helps kids realize that despite changes that may have happened in their lives and any sadness they are feeling at the moment the sun will come out again.  amazon.com price $9.99 


– Most adoption books tell you the story of an adoptive parent, their struggle through infertility, the hoop jumping and red tape of adoption and ultimately the joy of a successful adoption. My 2 Secrets tells the adoption story from the perspective of a birth mother.  This is a short but powerful story of a woman who places not one but two children for adoption and her struggle to keep this a secret and then ultimately come to terms with it.  For adoptive parents this is an essential read to help get them out of their story and put them in the position of a pregnant woman trying to come to terms with one of the hardest decisions of her life. 
 amazon  price $12.43 Kindle edition $2.99 

October Book Reviews 2014

Eight-Books-To-Read-In-2014

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.

137759-287559-396x448-MySisterAbbyCoverMy Sister Abby by Allison Barberi – Simple story of a young girl whose family adopts another child of a different race and culture. It briefly touches on how siblings don’t always look alike and that people of different cultures celebrate holidays or birthdays in different ways. It didn’t touch on race, which given the age range this book is intended for is okay but I did feel was a missing piece. The focus of the story seemed to focus on being happy to have a sister to share things with. amazon.com price $8.97 kindle price $5.99

blogger-image--1813170225Yes, I’m Adopted! by Sharlie Zinniger –  I really enjoyed this book right up to the end until the Authors threw in God. I feel this was just an unnecessary addition but probably won’t bother most people.  This is a sweet story with an en empowering message to help adopted children who may feel that different is bad to realize different is just different and different can in fact be very good. I loved the subtle nod to Superman and his being different and adopted – I think that this book would really speak to boys but girls would certainly enjoy it as well. amazon.com price $8.99 Kindle price $1.99

ThisisaBookFor-Parents-01a-thumb-307x448-86229This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life by Danielle Owens-Reid & Kristin Russo– This is a great book to help parents of lgbt kids and also for lgbt kids or adults to read.  While the questions are directed to parents the answers may help lgbt youth feel better about the reactions they may receive or questions that people ask.  This is all new to many people and while it may have taken a long time to come to the conclusion that you needed to come out as lgbt you need to give others the space to ask questions and come to terms with it as well.  Sometimes what sounds like a negative question is just that a question with no malice attached to it more of a information gathering to help the other person process the information.  Each chapter focuses on different aspect of coming out and at the end of each chapter there is a short summary of what was talked about. There are real life stories and scenarios scattered throughout the book that also help make this book more accessible and not just feel like a textbook. amazon  price $15.99 Kindle edition $9.99 

51w1TO5YHYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Family Medical History: Unknown/Adopted: How a Routine Inquiry Led to Unexpected Answers for an Adopted Woman by Nancy Kacirek Feldman & Rebecca Crofoot –  Many adult adoptees know the pain of not knowing their family medical history and the awkward conversations that can be had at doctors offices when trying to explain that they were adopted.  In fact medical history is a big reason why many adoptees search for their birth parents.

While this is not a particularly well written book it does describe the process and the roller coaster of emotions that are involved with searching for your roots. Nancy tells most of the story from her perspective through narrative, letters, and emails.  Becky, the social worker for the agency that Nancy was adopted through helps fill in some of the legal gaps and letting readers know what is normal and expected along the way.  I thought this book was very well balanced and honest.  amazon price $13.41 Kindle price 3.95